WKU swimming finishes year with pair of sweeps

Kurt Carson

WKU swimming ended the fall semester on a high note last weekend. 

The men’s (3-1) and women’s (4-1) teams swept Marshall and Fairmont State Saturday at the Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium in Huntington, W.Va.

WKU won despite not having the services of six of the team’s “top-end” swimmers, who were away over the weekend participating in the AT&T Winter Nationals.

Head Coach Bruce Marchionda praised his teams’ effort after having to fill in for some of their top swimmers.

“I think for the type of training we were doing prior to the meet they met the expectations we set for them,” Marchionda said. “It was nice to see some of the younger swimmers step up and fill the void of some of the people we were missing. 

“I think they capped off a very nice semester.”

Freshman Susan Marquess was one of the younger swimmers who stepped up and won first-place against Marshall in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyles.

Marchionda said he is pleased with where the underclassmen are at this point.

“They still have a lot of learning to do, especially on the technique side of things which they continue to work on all the time,” he said. “But as far as their performance, I couldn’t be more pleased with where they are and the impact they’ve had on the program already.”

Five Lady Toppers also combined to break pool records in the 200-yard medley relay, the 200 backstroke and the 200 individual medley.

The swimming and diving teams won’t compete again until 2012 when they head to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for a meet on January 12.

Marchionda said the key now is to keep the team focused for the next couple weeks of practice and beyond.

“Most of them have long-range goals that they’ve set forth for the year and beyond, and we just try to keep their eye on their goals,” Marchionda said. “Those goals are the things that are going to motivate them to get through the rough patch of the next two weeks.”

He said he hopes the success they’ve found thus far will also help keep them focused heading into the break.

“We’re now heading into the hardest part of our training now until the end of January,” he said. “Hopefully their performance in the first semester motivates them to get through the next part of our training phase.”